To Be Myself

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      The smoke curls in the air. It flows up and up and up. It shakes hands with the stars, and tickles the moon. Up and up and up it goes. It is weightless and is always floating. Always moving; always without shape.

      When I was young, I wanted to be like the smoke. I envied its lack of worries and freedom. Smoke goes anywhere it wants and does whatever it desires. But now that I am old, I see the smoke for what it is: boundaryless and lost. The smoke wanders not because it wants to, but because it is without a home. Smoke is not free; it is completely under siege of the breeze. It bounces around place to place and never acquires a shape: it is without walls and protection. Smoke does not have a choice; its freedom is an illusion. And so I no longer wish to be like the smoke, I wish to be myself.

 

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